As a part of our recent mentoring program, we also had a chance to celebrate the graduation of  five more Bahinis (Salina Ghatani, Asmita Tamang, Prajina Gajmer, Pramila Waiba and Manju Waiba), who received  their high school (10+2) diploma. Please note that there is one major national exam (SEE) after the 10th grade and then the newer high school requirement is for students to also pass exams after completing 2 more years. 

Where you are reading this from, graduating from high school may not feel like a big deal, but for these girls, this was a major milestone. They come from communities where many girls do not get the chance to finish high school, so for them…and for us, it was indeed a very big deal. Oddly enough, even though it is a big deal to graduate high school, celebrating something like graduation is not much of a tradition in rural communities. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, families may not understand or appreciate the significance of the graduation. Secondly, the family may not have the means to celebrate even if they wanted to. Lastly, families are so busy just trying to get by that stopping to appreciate something like this is just not common. 

However, in our Rukmini family, we really want to celebrate each and every achievement of our Bahinis (younger sisters), and we believe it is important for them to have a moment to feel proud of what they have worked so hard for, so we had a little part for this occasion. 

Meet our graduates  Salina Ghatani, Asmita Tamang, Prajina Gajmer, Pramila Waiba and Manju Waiba with guest speaker Didi, Sanju Maharjan (from L to R)

The graduation ceremony involved graduation caps, flowers, tika (blessings), and most importantly, cake. The girls were all proud to wear their handmade graduation caps, and the mentors offered flowers and Tika as blessings to our younger sisters who have made us so proud. Finally, we cut the graduation cake, which was a sweet treat for everyone to celebrate their sweet success.  This event was made more special by the fact that we had a special Guest Didi, Sanju Maharjan, who came to speak to the girls on the topic of self-defense, but also the importance of receiving an education.

Each of these girls have their own interesting story, so get to know each one of them:

Salina Ghatani

Salina became a part of the Rukmini family in 2016. In her free time, she helps her mother with household chores because she knows how hard she works. Salina wants to continue her studies and go to college, and dream of becoming a teacher.

Pramila Waiba

Pramila lives in one of the furthest villages from where our office is. When we first met her in 2017, she was just a little girl with a big, charming personality. Pramila has worked hard to improve academically over the years and also showed an interest in learning about computers. The foundation provided her with a laptop during the pandemic so that she could take part in online learning. She received basic training by our team, but then was able to learn more on her own. Pramila even started to use the computer to show videos to other children and people in her community. She learned to sing and dance by watching YouTube videos. Pramila loved being able to teach others about computers, and she wants to become a teacher to serve disadvantaged children.

Manju Waiba

Manju is also from one of the more remote villages from our foundation offices. She was a very shy girl when she came to our program in 2018. Through mentoring and encouragement she started attending Rukmini Programs. In the graduation program the team could tell that she is now more confident and she expressed how proud she was to have passed the 12th grade examination. Something that even a lot of the boys in her community were not able to achieve. She shared the following at the graduation ceremony:

“I feel fortunate to have the support of the Rukmini Foundation. Without this support, I would have probably stopped my education much earlier.  I am very happy that I completed the 12th grade. Rukmini’s programs have given me the confidence to speak with people and make friends, which means a lot to me.”

Prajina Gajmer

Prajina lives in an area close to our Foundation office. Because she is close to the office and her school, she has tried her best to attend all of the programs we have offered. She not only attends, but asks many questions at the Didi programs, which is exactly what we want all of the girls to be able to do. In the graduation program, she shared, “Through the Didi Program, I got to meet Didis from different backgrounds. Listening to their stories inspires me to do better in studies and also to be a better person. I remember one Didi Shristi KC the most. She has the physical disability of not being able to see, but she is very good at dancing and she is not afraid to try new things. From her story, I learned that if we really want to do something, we can find a way to do it.”

Asmita Tamang

Asmita has been with the program for over 5 years. In the beginning, like many of the girls, she was very shy and did not like to participate in programs. She had difficulties with her studies in the beginning, so we talked with her teachers for help. With mentoring, tutoring and encouragement, she started to show progress, and now she is a high school graduate. Asmita shared with us, “My father died when I was thirteen. The responsibility of looking after a family of five, me and my three sisters fell to my mother. If I had not gotten into the Rukmini program, I would have to give up my education to help my mother and my sisters. Because of this support, my mother did not have to worry about me and my education, and I was able to focus on my studies. I feel very lucky to be here at the graduation ceremony.”

I feel so privileged in being able to share these stories with you. If you enjoyed reading these stories of empowerment and want to be a part of creating even more stories, please consider making a donation from our website.

With sincere gratitude.
Laxmi Aryal

About Laxmi Aryal

Laxmi was the first female in her family to receive an education. While the education she received was limited, she was able to make the best of it and became the first person from her family and village to complete high school, undergraduate studies and eventually a Masters degree. She eventually earned a Masters Degree from the University of Pittsburgh in Public Policy. Hers is an inspirational story that the Rukmini Foundation hopes to replicate. She serves as an inspiration for the foundation and its leadership.
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